Sometimes sadness comes in and hovers. We long for its exit, yet it lingers still, hooking into our soul. So we anesthetize the rawness of its effects: through alcohol, through over-eating, by avoiding those who love us. Andrew Solomon called depression a “Noonday Demon,” an apropos title indeed, especially for Christ-followers.
Depression is a universal experience that affects the mind. It stems from a variety of sources: experiencing job-loss or rejection, enduring the diagnosis of disease, grieving the loss of a relationship. King David’s sadness stemmed from his behavior. His soul was reaping the after-effects of sin that he had sown himself.
[bctt tweet=”Why so #downcast my #soul? ” username=”MalleableHeart”]
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God—Psalm 42:5.
Depression is a raw emotion that robs a person of joy. Yet depression can also be situational—there’s more bills than money can handle, more barren than plenty in the cupboards. But it can also be serious enough to incapacitate–and if that happens, be mindful to those experiencing its effects. Make no mistake–the grey cloak of heaviness is real, so we must envelope our loved ones in prayer and compassion as they battle through the dark emotions. Below are a few strategies to deal with sadness:
- Practice gratitude—we can be grateful that we don’t live in war-torn countries where a woman’s inherent rights are trampled upon; where children live in turmoil because of the ravages of war. We can be thankful for our citizenry.
- Exercise—studies show that endorphins are released into our brains by working out. Be it a dance class or hitting the treadmill, spend time combatting sadness through physical movement.
- Cultivate Self-Care —tea and bible-reading time. Talking to a caring therapist. Flipping through an old photo album. Ridding yourself of people who drain you of vital emotional energy.
- Draw With Crayons—there is something magical about a Crayola Crayon. Doodle and breathe deeply, remember when—again.
- Invite the Divine Alloy—the Holy Spirit—to smooth out the crevices of your fragile soul. Christ informed His followers that he would send us a comforter.
- Fast from Social Media—stay away from incessant electronic feeds that begin to conjure up feelings of comparison or unworthiness. Seek the FACE of Christ instead.
- Accept Yourself—with flaws and all. Your inherent worth comes from one savior alone, Christ—your Divine Excavator.
- Hope Regardless—know that your barren land will one day flourish, that maybe this sad season is a catalyst for change, for your reshaping, beautiful woman.
- Recast Your Thoughts—quote scripture, girl! Tell that “Noonday Demon” to find himself a NEW place to dwell! Shout it out into the atmosphere of your dwelling.
- Engage With Others—spend time with friends. Join a local book club. Volunteer time with those in their own “bleak”—you just may realize that your life isn’t so bad after all.
So how have you handled sadness or depression? In hindsight, what did you learn from this powerful human emotion?